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So, I feel really interested in the things nature has to offer. One of the most amazing creations of nature itself is the mushroom. Now, as I got more and more interested, I started to want to learn more and more about wild edibles. My overall favorites are the Morel and Chanterelle, and today I will be teaching you about the Chanterelle. These Mushrooms are far better than any Mushroom in store and are so fun to find. They also grow in pretty much every region. This is why I am so excited to share my knowledge with you.

Step 1: The Characteristics of the Chanterelle

So, a Chanterelle is very unique. It is probably the most popular edible mushroom in the world, and I can tell you from experience, that it is delicious. Although, there are two types that you would want to look for. One is just called a Chanterelle and one is called a Smooth Chanterelle.


Chanterelle:

Season: Late June-Early August

Characteristics: Chanterelles are Yellow to Orange on top and the underside has firm ridges and is white. This mushroom grows directly from the ground.


Smooth Chanterelle:

Season: Late June-Early August

Characteristics: Smooth Chanterelles are Yellow to orange on top and the underside is almost completely smooth and all white. This mushroom grows directly out of the ground.

Note: You may find some chanterelles, as seen above in the picture, that sometimes the Chanterelles have gotten kind of old. However, this is not bad to eat, as long as it looks like the Mushroom has not gotten older than the one seen above.

Step 2: Where to Find Chanterelles and Other Tips

You can never pinpoint where chanterelles will be, there are a few things that you can look for.

1. Chanterelles like to grow in areas that have a lot of organic matter on the ground, such as leaf litter or best of all a lot of humus. Although, they can also grow in grass or on paths. If you don't know, humus is a perfect mixture of organic matter, clay, sand, air, and water.

2. Probably most important is that there should be indirect sunlight. In other words they aren't getting direct sun and aren't getting full shade.

3. They tend to like to grow next to trees like Birch, Maple, and Oak, but they can grow next to others too.

Tips

1. The best time to take the time to look for chanterelles is when it has been raining for a few days and then gets sunny.

2. Chanterelles have spores, not seeds. They spread from the mushroom as it dies, not before. This should tell you two things. One, you can almost always come back to a place where you found Chanterelles year after year. Two, for this to happen you have to leave a few chanterelles so that they can spread their spores and reproduce. Therefore, you should leave about half of the mushrooms that you find.

3. So that you track less dirt with you and the mushrooms, always pinch the mushroom stem off close to the ground instead of pulling.

4. Chanterelles are delicious. Not only to us, but to insects too. So, you should always collect chanterelles into a basket because these bugs will leave when the mushrooms are separated from the mushrooms underground mycelia part (kind of like a plant's roots).

Step 3: Dangers

When foraging for mushrooms in the wild, there are always a few dangers. Some mushrooms look alike, and although there are always many, many differences, you always need to make sure of what mushroom you have. For example, there is one mushroom that slightly resembles the Chanterelle. It's called the Jack'OLantern Mushroom. It is poisonous and can cause extreme discomfort, but is not deadly. So, I will tell you the differences between the two. However, don't be afraid, it is easy to distinguish from Chanterelles.

Jack O'Lantern:

Season: July-October

Characteristics:

Jack O'Lantern Mushroom's first of all, grow in clusters and at the base of things such as stumps, logs, and deciduous wood.

This mushroom instead of having ridges or being smooth on the underside of the cap like Chanterelles have gills that can be easily identified by moving your finger along them. If you can move the gills, as if they were pages in a book, then the mushroom is definitely NOT a Chanterelle.

Finally, something that is actually pretty cool about the Jack O'Lantern Mushroom is that when put in the dark, it actually glows. This is because the Mushrooms gills are bioluminescent (glow in the dark).

Step 4: Cooking and Cleaning Chanterelles

Cleaning Chanterelles:
When you get home, there are bound to be two things in your mushrooms that you are not thrilled about. One, Bugs. Two, dirt.

Once the bugs realize that you have taken the Chanterelles, they will want to clear out. So, the best way to do this is to, if it won't rain, put the chanterelles outside in a basket, and the bugs should have cleared out and moved on by morning.

Second, the way to rid Chanterelles of dirt is not with water but with a small brush such as a toothbrush. You should take the toothbrush and gently brush off the dirt from the chanterelles until clean. The reason you should not use water is it makes the chanterelles loose flavor and feel gummy. Also, don't think using salt water to rid the mushrooms of bugs is a good idea, it does the same thing.

Cooking Chanterelles:

The way I see best fit to cook chanterelles is to do something simple, like make them a side dish. First, you must cut the mushrooms in half, and then into strips. What I do is Sauté them with butter, and you could also add a hint of garlic if you want to. Another thing I did was make Bacon and Chanterelle Quesadillas. However, there are many other ideas in existence.

Step 5: Storing Chanterelles

So, if you're lucky, you'll have a large haul of mushrooms. However, how in the world might you eat them all before they go bad? The answer is, you don't have to. So, first of all, chanterelles will keep for quite a while in the fridge, but they will not last forever. You'll have to do something about that.

1. Put the Chanterelles all in a bag and freeze them in the freezer. It's quite simple. In fact, it's quite easy.

2. Another thing that people have done is dry them out in the sun. They will keep for pretty much forever, and they later rehydrate them in water, which has a different effect than when you wash them

Step 6: Thanks

So, although I know a lot about Chanterelles, and have hunted and cooked them for myself, there were a few things that I had to learn while making this. I already knew what Chanterelles looked like, but for your safety, I had to find the information about the Jack O'Lantern Mushroom from an entirely different source.

This, and I give many thanks to this book because it has taught me a lot and helped me with a few things I had yet to know while writing this, is a book called Missouri's Wild Mushrooms by Maxine Stone. She is an amazing mushroom specialist that I got a chance to forage with earlier this year. However, before you go and get your Chanterelle craze on and get hunting, I have one more thing to tell you.

If you are interested in mushrooms, then you might be surprised to know that there might be a Mycological (mushroom) organization near you. An example of this is near me there is a wonderful organization called Missouri Mycological Society that holds forays and has many learning opportunities for anyone that wishes to join.

I hope that you enjoyed my instructable! Thanks for reading this, and don't forget to favorite and subscribe!

<p>Great Instructable! dont know if im brave enough to try and pick wild mushrooms though, im afraide i would pick the wrong ones.</p>
<p>Great 'ible! Can you make Chanterelle mushroom soup?</p>
<p>Terrific! Voted!</p>
<p>Anche nell' Italia del Nord crescono copiosi, sono i miei preferiti ?,</p><p>Ottimo lavoro , bravo !!!!</p>
<p>Awesome!!1 love it!!!</p>
I've wanted to learn how to hunt mushrooms for a ling time. <br>Downloaded. Voted. And shared! Thank you!!!
<p>Thanks for helping. Because of people like you, I'm on track to possably win the big prize.</p>
Love it.
<p>I'm glad you like it. It took me white a bit of time to make.</p>
Wow, now i want hunt for these. Looks yummy
<p>Thanks!</p>
<p>Very good information for people looking for natural foods to eat in the wild or for survival.<br><br>Shared!</p>
<p>Thank you so much! For voting and helping. :)</p>
<p>Not bad.</p>
Thanks! I really do enjoy foraging for mushrooms and wild edibles.
<p>I fish, hunt and forage, also got me some nice giant puffball last month. We have Blue Chanterelles where I live.</p>
It sounds like we could really agree on some stuff. It sounds like a fun life. :)
<p>I belong to The Mushroom Identification Forum on Facebook and did you see my jams and jellies in the same contest. Half of what I eat I get from the bush after all it is free food.:-)</p>
Sadly I live a bit away from the woods so I don't get total access. However I would live full out of the bush if I had the chance :). I looked up your instructable in the contest and think that that is super cool. It's really informative and I will have to try it for myself. I voted for it. If you could please vote for mine that would be great. It boosts our chances. I'll also have to look online for that facebook page.
<p>I voted and favorited yours. </p><p>I've lived on or near farms or forest all my Life. I miss living on the farm, a river went right through the farm, I had access to a thousand acers of bush, and 3 county forests were a 5 minute drive. since I lost my eyesight and moved into town I'm limited to how far I can walk in a day the closest county forest is only a 5 minute walk.</p>
It must have been fun to live on a farm. Other than puffball and chanterelles, what other mushrooms do you hunt for? One of my other personal favorites (and many, many other peoples) are Morels. They are so tasty. I'll create an instructable about them next year. (when I can get my own pictures)
<p>Morels are few and far between here more False Morels lots of Death Caps some Chaga, Lots of Chicken of the Woods and other shelf mushrooms, Bearded Tooth, Shaggy Ink Cap, Oyster, Meadow, Button mushrooms.</p><p>I pick tones of these but I am not sure of there name I only know they are safe.</p>
Those are a lot of good mushrooms you have around where you live. I totally agree about Morels being far and few, but I look for them every year. I only find a few and it takes so much time. Those mushrooms you took a picture of look interesting. How good are they? I think I'm going try to figure out what they are.
<p>I have found it quite a challenge to find its name.</p>
I find the odds regiculously high that I won't find it but I could ask some people that know quite a bit. I figure it's worth a try.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I was recently introduced to the beautiful world of making and have been hooked ever since!
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